A Democrat who’s running for Congress joined with a few Republican legislators and upset landowners today to rail against what the group sees as violations of private property rights. In 2006, the Iowa legislature passed a law expanding property rights in Iowa, a response to a federal court ruling which gave city and county officials broad authority to seize private property for new development.

That 2006 law allows for construction of lakes to meet drinking water needs, but Representative Jodi Tymeson, a Republican from Winterset, says those needs are being exaggerated in order to build bigger recreational lakes. "It’s become clear that we need to strengthen the law related to building lakes and make sure that the water needs aren’t being inflated to justify the taking of more acres," Tymeson says.

Ed Fallon, a Democrat from Des Moines, was in the legislature in 2006 and voted for the new state law supporters hoped would protect property owners. "The people affected, the landowners, they’re not just Republicans. They’re Independents. They’re Democrats. This is not a partisan issue," Fallon says. "We need to be rallying to address the problems that have been discovered in the 2006 law." Fallon rejects the idea that by siding with Republicans on this, he’s alienating Democrats who will be voting in the June primary where Fallon is challenging a fellow Democrat, Congressman Leonard Boswell.

"Sometimes I get accused of not being able to work with Republicans and that’s actually pretty patently false," Fallon says. "Over the years I’ve done a lot of work on both sides of the aisle and this is an example of, again, where I’m able to cross the aisle and work with Republicans on an issue that we believe very strongly about." Democrats control the debate agenda in the Iowa House, not Republicans.